Atos to give back £15m for failed Manchester 'Oyster card'
Manchester was all set to get its own version of the Oyster Card, called the My Get Me There card. Terrible name, looks a bit nicer when abbreviated to MGMT.
However, the company that was setting the whole thing up has dropped a clanger, and has been forced to hand back the £15 million to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), after they failed to actually deliver the scheme.
The smartcard, which was supposed to be in use last summer, would have given the people of Greater Manchester the ability to board trains, trams, and buses with the swipe of a unified card... but it never arrived.
And so, TfGM binned the contract and Atos, who were supposed to create the MGMT card, gave TfGM ‘substantial compensation’. Now, the transport bosses of Greater Manchester are looking for someone else to bring the area a smartcard travel system.
TfGM want to assure taxpayers that they're not losing any money on this, and that the whole thing doesn't have to start from scratch again, which is something. This compensation means they can move more quickly with the whole thing.
A TfGM spokesman told MEN: "As was stated at the time of the termination the arrangements mean that Greater Manchester taxpayers have been reimbursed in full for all monies paid to Atos under the contract, and all of TfGM’s direct costs - including staff and third party costs - incurred for the development of the system to date."
An Atos spokesperson said: "As we stated at the time, we think it’s right that TfGM have the opportunity to re-think their strategy for smart ticketing in the best interests of people in Manchester. We are pleased to have reached a settlement that enables them to do this."
When the smartcard scheme will actually see the light of day, remains unclear.